If you’re a caregiver who helps a loved one manage medications, now is a great time to get rid of old prescriptions and make sure that current ones are stored safely. In 2013, drug poisoning (overdose) was the number one injury-related death in the United States.1 According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2010, adults accounted for 92 percent of all poison-related deaths.2 Children younger than 6 accounted for about half of all poison exposure calls. 3
Removing unused medicines from the home can prevent accidental poisonings. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) provides recommendations and sponsors National Drug Take-back days for safe medicine disposal. Visit www.deadversion.usdog.gov for more information. Your pharmacy may recommend other disposal resources in your community.
Medication safety tips:
Increase safety in your home with three simple steps:4
If you have a poison emergency, call 911.
Poison Control Center
1 Hedegaard H, Chen LH, Warner M. (2015). NCHA Data Brief No.190: Drug-poisoning Deaths Involving Heroin: United States, 2000-2013. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db190.htm#ref1 (link opens in new window).
2 Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR, Bailey JE, Ford M. 2012 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 30th Annual Report, Clinical Toxicology, (2013) 51: 949-1229.
3 Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Brooks DE, McMillan N, Schauben JL. 2014 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS): 32nd Annual Report, Clinical Toxicology, (2015) 53:10, 962-1147.
4 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/poisoning/preventiontips.htm (link opens in new window)